Sunday 19th of November 2017

planet data...

peasants on planet data

Protecting the next by securing the past...

Have you ever wondered why the Internet does not crash despite viruses and other programs invented by the NSA, the CIA and other mal intended people, designed to infiltrate other networks?

Today (28/06/17) Companies across the globe are reporting that they have been struck by a major ransomware cyber-attack.

British advertising agency WPP is among those to say its IT systems have been disrupted as a consequence.

The virus, the source of which is not yet known, freezes the user’s computer until a ransom in untraceable Bitcoin is paid.

Ukrainian firms, including the state power company and Kiev’s main airport, were among the first to report issues.

The Chernobyl nuclear power plant has also had to monitor radiation levels manually after its Windows-based sensors were shut down.

The Russian anti-virus firm Kaspersky Lab said its analysis showed that there had been about 2,000 attacks - most in Ukraine, Russia and Poland.

The international police organisation Interpol has said it was “closely monitoring” the situation and liaising with its member countries.

Experts suggest the malware is taking advantage of the same weaknesses used by the Wannacry attack last month.

“It initially appeared to be a variant of a piece of ransomware that emerged last year,” said computer scientist Prof Alan Woodward.

---------------

Interestingly the ransom is to be made in Bitcoin to be delivered to an address that is “untraceable”...  The Ransom is modest: $300 of Bitcoin. It’s ridiculous considering one bitcoin is now worth more than $2500. So it seems it could be a “game’ rather a money making venture. But the aim of the game could be to disable “Russia” far more than piddley firms in Europe and the USA.

The story of Cyberware is complicated. I am not an expert, but due to my technological bakground, I am sort of an expert in procedures and steps in logicity. One can not build without making some sturdy foundations. This is simple enough. Complications arise as to define “sturdy”. One can always make sturdy but there is a cost and rules/regulations ratio which obviously failed in the case of Grenfell, UK infamous building fire. The World Towers foundations had to account for a lot of factors, from rivers running through the site, soft ground and many “holes” and tunnels due to the subway. The solution was to build a giant waterproof tub. The tub was so strong that when the towers collapsed on 9/11, the tub remained basically intact and was reused to house the foundations of the new structures. The tub is a bit like a “block-chain” in computing. It cannot be altered by subsequent events. DNA relies strongly on unchanged "blocks" in evolution. The pillars of the building stay while the cladding is altered for various purposes of intent and beauty. 

In computer program writing, there are holes and back-door drafts. There is also a lot of piggy-backing. In digital TV transmission, the signal is never “pure”. But the technology is such that the integrity of the image is restored/maintained nonetheless, by the receiver. It’s a bit as if the TV computer realises there is a “missing bit” but the missing bit cannot be other than this particular bit. The TV computer will fill in the gaps to a great extend, except when the interference or the number of missing bits is too great.

Image “compression” from “raw” to “tiff” to JPEG works on the same principle, in order to reduce the amount of data. In the end, what matters is that the illusion is maintained at the desired scale. Some computer programs can restore some of the original data and improve upon the quality of image by extrapolation of possibilities.

More than we ‘d like to think, we are at the mercy of data.

Here come Bitcoins and Ethereum.

They are Cryptocurrencies.

There is some serious secrecy about the creator of Bitcoin. It could be an Australian nerdo-scientist called Craig Wright who devised a pseudonym Nakamoto… Some considered Nakamoto might be a team of people; Dan Kaminsky, a security researcher who read the bitcoin code, said that Nakamoto could either be a “team of people” or a “genius”; Laszlo Hanyecz, a former bitcoin core developer who had emailed Nakamoto, had the feeling the code was too well designed for one person. Craig Wright is a weirdo. Most computer nerds are weirdoes and possibly need to be.

Cryptocurrencies are valued for their high “security” and “trust” between parties who by-pass the system of “fiat” currency and exchange devised by governments and banks. Unless we are a computer nerd and rich, we would have buckleys chance of buying a bitcoin. Contrarily to the Australian government that sees bitcoins as a way to bypass government regulation blah blah blah, the Russian government tax bitcoins (and other cryptocurrencies) at the same rate of capital gain tax. Rather than be punitive, this embraces the new technology. Here of course we could suggest that “hackers” can have a field day, but not quite. Hacking can only be done on transient information and unsecured programs. Cryptocurrencies rely on “blockchains”. Blockchains are fully secured dated encrypted data-blocks that cannot be changed. They are a bit like the tub of the World Towers. Even if the system collapses, the blockchains are retained. This is extremely valuable when trillion-trillion data items are at stake.

Ethereum was developed by Vitalik Buterin, a Russian who is now living in Singapore. Buterin was born in Kolomna, Moscow Oblast, Russia and lived in the area until the age of six when his parents immigrated to Canada in search of better employment opportunities. While in grade three of elementary school in Canada, Buterin was placed into a class for gifted children and started to understand that he was drawn to math, programming, and economics. He also had the ability to add three digit numbers in his head at twice the speed of his peers.

Buterin learned about Bitcoin from his father at 17. In 2012, he obtained a Bronze Medal in the International Olympiad in Informatics. In 2013 he visited developers in other countries who shared his enthusiasm for code. He returned to Toronto later that year and published a white paper proposing Ethereum. He attended the University of Waterloo but dropped out in 2014, when he received the Thiel Fellowship in the amount of $100,000, and went to work on Ethereum full-time.

Why should we care? Ethereum is valued at $37 billion. The nerds are the nouveau rich. The Bill Gates are now like ignorant mecreants at the back of the class.

What these clever little chaps do is protect the past to maintain the integrity of the next.

More about “blockchains”

A blockchain – originally block chain – is a distributed database that is used to maintain a continuously growing list of records, called blocks. Each block contains a timestamp and a link to a previous block. A blockchain is typically managed by a peer-to-peer network collectively adhering to a protocol for validating new blocks. By design, blockchains are inherently resistant to modification of the data. Once recorded, the data in any given block cannot be altered retroactively without the alteration of all subsequent blocks and the collusion of the network. Functionally, a blockchain can serve as “an open, distributed ledger that can record transactions between two parties efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way. The ledger itself can also be programmed to trigger transactions automatically.”

Blockchains are secure by design and are an example of a distributed computing system with high Byzantine fault tolerance (high resistance to traitors in the midst/hackers). Decentralized consensus has therefore been achieved with a blockchain. This makes blockchains potentially suitable for the recording of events, medical records, and other records management activities, identity management, transaction processing, and documenting provenance.

The first blockchain was conceptualised by Satoshi Nakamoto (Craig Wright?) in 2008 and implemented the following year as a core component of the digital currency bitcoin, where it serves as the public ledger for all transactions.

Apparently, in 1999, Craig Wright was the first nerdie to create a gambling program and site in the world. He operated from Alice Spring, Australia.

The invention of the blockchain for bitcoin made it the first digital currency to solve the double spending problem, without the use of a trusted authority or central server. The bitcoin design has been the inspiration for other applications.

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MGT Capital, the company run by John McAfee, said it will start to mine Ethereum — the bitcoin rival that’s surged nearly 4000% this year — in its latest bid to turn a profit.
 MGT, which is publicly traded over the counter, has mostly pitched itself to investors as a cybersecurity company. Cybersecurity is where McAfee made his mark as the founder of the anti-virus company that bears his name.
 But McAfee has more recently started to tout cryptocurrencies. He said last month that investments in bitcoin will help put it back in the black by the end of the year.
 Ethereum is like bitcoin in that it can be “mined” by computers that solve complex computations. MGT said Friday that it reached an agreement with
 Bit5ive LLC to buy up to 60 graphics processor-based mining computers to help mine for ether (Ethereum).
“We are more convinced each day of the growth and value of digital currencies, and our Company is uniquely positioned to be a leading provider of processing power to relevant blockchains,” McAfee said in the statement.

McAfee’s foray into the cryptocurrency space comes at a time when others have been sounding the alarm after a huge run-up in prices.

In early June, billionaire Mark Cuban said it was evident that bitcoin was a bubble by tweeting that “when everyone is bragging about how easy they are making $=bubble.”

Days later, Goldman Sachs warned that bitcoin was looking “heavy” and that a drop to between 2,330 and no lower than 1,915 was looking likely. Bitcoin put in a low of $US2,076 just a day later after the scaling debate came back into focus as the bitcoin-mining firm Bitmain outlined its “contingency plan” if a hard fork were to occur. Bitcoin has since recouped those losses and now trades at $US2,708.

Ethereum is up 3,964% so far in 2017. As for MGT, its stock is up 42% year-to-date.

 

---------

According to the founder, blockchain is not just about cryptocurrencies, but the technology has wider applications. While cryptocurrencies have earned a questionable reputation, the blockchain ledger behind them has tremendous potential to simplify transactions in a variety of industries.

Buterin, who met President Putin on the sidelines of the St Petersburg International Economic Forum in June, told RT that ethereum has huge expansion plans for Russia.

The company’s representative in Russia Martynov added that “in five years Russia could become a global center for blockchain expertise. The country plans to attract and teach programmers blockchain technology and then offer the world expertise.”

Ethereum intends to expand in Russia, he added.


Gus Leonisky

Your local data processing expert.

 

planet protein...

life is about proteins. DNA is a protein that is very specifically encoded and that uses other proteins for its own survival... Like "blockchains" there are specific UCEs in DNA Proteins. These are UltraConserved Elements that do not change in evolution. The same UCEs can be found in rats, humans and mice. It's only recently that these have been studied in detail, rather than looking at the "cladding" -- the changing bits of DNA that lead to evolution, devolution, deformation and diseases. 

The UCEs are there to provide consistency to bind to other proteins to regulate gene activity. The loss (or variations) of UCEs would lead to the disintegration of the whole system. 

And we need to consume proteins to survive. 

read:

http://science.sciencemag.org/content/356/6341/892

http://science.sciencemag.org/content/356/6341/904

 

see also:

Imagine a world created by the quest for beauty, filled with colorful dancing and governed by the principle of autonomous sexual freedom. To access this world, according to Richard Prum, you need only take a stroll outside and watch the avian rites of spring. Departing from the economic metaphors of evolutionary theory in which female choice represented a mechanism devoid of desire, in The Evolution of Beauty, Prum argues that mate choice, and the beauty it has created, are important—even central—mechanisms of evolutionary change at almost every stage of bird evolution.

http://science.sciencemag.org/content/356/6341/915

 

The main article at top uses various sources including Wikipedia and business journals. They are not linked to help the continuity of the narrative though it is easy to find the original sources. Most likely, the USA will try hard to prevent Russia from becoming the "blockchain" headquarters in the world. Cyber war at ten paces....

planet bugs...

 

The Petya ransomware that spread across the globe Tuesday was made possible thanks to EternalBlue – a hacking tool used by the NSA to exploit a Windows vulnerability it left open for five years, Edward Snowden and security experts have said.

If you're a journalist writing about this, remember this worm spreads based on a vulnerability NSA kept unfixed for years. #EternalBluehttps://t.co/9Eb4agkRsp

— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) June 27, 2017

Symantec confirms global #Petya ransomware attack hitting computers today (hospitals, supermarkets, banks) uses NSA's #ETERNALBLUE exploit. pic.twitter.com/wDuHoRcFCr

— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) June 27, 2017

Symantec analysts have confirmed #Petya#ransomware, like #WannaCry, is using #EternalBlueexploit to spread

— Security Response (@threatintel) June 27, 2017

According to cybersecurity company Kaspersky Lab, the latest ransomware attacks are a variation on the original Petya, which has been around since last year. “This appears to be a complex attack which involves several attack vectors,” Kaspersky Lab said Tuesday. “We can confirm that a modified EternalBlue exploit is used for propagation at least within the corporate network.”

Listen, people can disagree on surveillance. But when @NSAGov's focus on offense over defense shuts down US hospitals, it's time to act. https://t.co/4LL0CHFKOO

— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) June 27, 2017

How many times does @NSAGov's development of digital weapons have to result in harm to civil infrastructure before there is accountability? https://t.co/VOu28Ce9ee

— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) June 27, 2017

“How many times does @NSAGov's development of digital weapons have to result in harm to civil infrastructure before there is accountability?” Snowden tweeted. “Listen, people can disagree on surveillance. But when NSAGov’s focus on offense over defense shuts down US hospitals, it’s time to act.”

The NSA’s hacking team, Equation Group (or Tailored Access Operations), lost control of its trove of hacking exploits and, last August, a group calling themselves the Shadow Brokers announced it had access to those tools.

read more:

https://www.rt.com/viral/394318-petya-ransomware-nsa-exploit-snowden/

 

Even the bugs need the Internet to be healthy... otherwise they could not reach their "targets"... Please note that asking for ransom is futile as the computer systems are unable to pay anything anywhere since "they are frozen"... So the whole purpose is to disrupt, not to make money.

Note: by bypassing governments and banks, blockchains and cryptocurrencies are far more democratic than say the "dollar". As I understand it, cryptocurrencies and the underpinning blockchains make sure everyone is 'equal" in the system. No-one can rob anyone else, because of the protocols of reciprocal trust necessary to engage in transactions.

planet blockchain...

 

Blockchain technology is "challenging the status quo" and has the potential to transform the financial system by getting rid of many financial services providers who act as intermediaries, William Mougayar, author of The Business Blockchain, told Radio Sputnik.

Financial services companies are exploring the possibility of carrying out faster transactions in cryptocurrencies, and a consortium of seven large European banks has turned to US tech company IBM to create a new trade finance platform based on blockchain technology.

 

Blockchain is the technology behind Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, an open-source network that serves as a digital ledger to facilitate secure online transactions, removing the need for an intermediary.

The banks' new platform is designed to simplify and facilitate domestic and cross-border trade for small and medium sized enterprises in Europe, while helping to increase overall trade transaction transparency, IBM stated on Monday.

William Mougayar, author of The Business Blockchain, founder of the Token Summit and an early stage investor in blockchain startups, told Radio Sputnik that in its current form, blockchain technology can benefit banks and their clients. However, in the longer term, blockchain has the potential to disrupt the financial market.

"For sure, blockchain is the next generation of the internet, or the next generation of the web, from a technology perspective. However, in terms of how it will transform financial institutions, I think it will do that to a degree that doesn't go beyond their existing business model."

 

"The financial institutions are not going to disrupt themselves, they're not going to recreate new models beneath them. They're going to use the blockchain to support their existing businesses and to support their existing visions and strategies, which means they will look for the blockchain to help them in cost savings and to improve processes, but they will not let the blockchain disrupt them directly."

Eventually, blockchain is likely to disrupt the current form of financial services, because it has the potential to remove the need for intermediaries altogether. 

"The blockchain disruption in financial services is going to come from outside of these companies, it's going to come from new players and new start-ups that we have yet to see and that have yet to become big."

In the short term, the growth in blockchain technology will create more jobs, but in the long term it has the potential to remove some jobs traditionally done by banks and their staff.

"First, there will more jobs created to implement blockchain technology, because we're still in the early days. So today, there are maybe 35-40,000 developers worldwide that know how to program a blockchain application or that know the blockchain technologies. So, that's not a big number but that number is going to grow. We're not going to see the blockchain removing jobs yet until these projects are fully implemented, so that will be a secondary effect that will come much later in the evolution of the blockchain, at one to three years down the line and perhaps even longer."

 

read more:

https://sputniknews.com/science/201706291055080795-blockchain-cryptocyrr...

The one thing that blockchain technology does is reduce the possibility of gambling with currencies. I could be wrong on this one but this is the way I see this fascinating system. This could be a hindrance to the rich and a boon for the honest poor. A democratic plus? Who knows...

 

read from top...

See also:

https://sputniknews.com/world/201706291055081948-us-kaspersky-ban/

planet algorithm...

Shoppers with Internet access and a bargain-hunting impulse can find a universe of products at their fingertips. In this thought-provoking exposé, Ariel Ezrachi and Maurice Stucke invite us to take a harder look at today’s app-assisted paradise of digital shopping. While consumers reap many benefits from online purchasing, the sophisticated algorithms and data-crunching that make browsing so convenient are also changing the nature of market competition, and not always for the better. 

Computers colluding is one danger. Although longstanding laws prevent companies from fixing prices, data-driven algorithms can now quickly monitor competitors’ prices and adjust their own prices accordingly. So what is seemingly beneficial increased price transparency ironically can end up harming consumers. A second danger is behavioral discrimination. Here, companies track and profile consumers to get them to buy goods at the highest price they are willing to pay. The rise of super-platforms and their “frenemy” relationship with independent app developers raises a third danger. By controlling key platforms (such as the operating system of smart phones), data-driven monopolies dictate the flow of personal data and determine who gets to exploit potential buyers. 

Virtual Competition raises timely questions. To what extent does the “invisible hand” still hold sway? In markets continually manipulated by bots and algorithms, is competitive pricing an illusion? Can our current laws protect consumers? The changing market reality is already shifting power into the hands of the few. Ezrachi and Stucke explore the resulting risks to competition, our democratic ideals, and our economic and overall well-being. 

read more:

http://www.booktopia.com.au/virtual-competition-ariel-ezrachi/prod9780674545472.html?

planet google...

 

The European Union has handed Google a record-breaking €2.42bn (£2.14bn) fine for abusing its dominance of the search engine market in building its online shopping service, in a dramatic decision that has far-reaching implications for the company.

By artificially and illegally promoting its own price comparison service in searches, Google denied both its consumers real choice and rival firms the ability to compete on a level playing field, European regulators said.

The Silicon Valley giant has 90 days to stop its illegal activities and explain how it will reform its ways or face fines of up to €10.6m a day, which equates to 5% of the average daily worldwide turnover of its parent company Alphabet.

read more:

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/jun/27/google-braces-for-record-breaking-1bn-fine-from-eu

In Australia, Google is known to have paid very little tax on its billion dollar operation...

read from top...

 

planet central US net

Have you wondered why the USA is reluctant to let the central hub of the internet away from the USA.

 

 

The internet may never be the same after Sept. 30.

Big changes are coming that threaten its security, stability and openness. The United States has always controlled how the internet functions but, under a plan backed by President Barack Obama, next month it will abdicate control to a multi-stakeholder international governing body.

It’s a big deal, but it’s complicated.

Let me explain: To reach a website or person on the internet, you must give your computer a destination — usually entered as a name or number. That destination has to be unique so computers know where to find each other. Humans prefer to find web and email addresses by name, such as google.com. But computers know each other by numbers, or Internet Protocol (IP) addresses.

 

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) acts as the phone book of the internet by assigning and matching domain names with IP addresses. ICANN makes all sorts of policies that affect how the internet works and how related problems get resolved. Without their coordination we wouldn’t have one global internet.

Although the Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization typically does what it wants, ICANN ultimately answers to the U.S. government. That’s because the government essentially invented the internet and thus got to decide who manages it. U.S. officials have always kept an eye on ICANN and let it know when its policies were astray. 

But soon America will relinquish exclusive control and begin sharing ICANN oversight with foreign governments, tech companies and advocacy organizations.

Why give away control of ICANN — and, with it, significant parts of the internet? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, argue critics of the handover.

 

Indeed, “The global community has shown little ability to reach consensus positions on internet issues,” warns Richard Chapo, a San Diego-based lawyer specializing in internet law. Moreover, many do not share America’s laissez faire regulatory approach that has allowed the internet to flourish. 

Unfortunately, America doesn’t have much choice.

Our government has promised since 1998 to share internet oversight with the world, but progress keeps getting delayed. There’s a risk that if the U.S. doesn’t follow through, the United Nations may seize control and enact extreme changes to the internet. Or other countries and continents could form their own insulated internets, like North Korea already does, rather than participate in the global, interconnected internet we have today. That would be a major loss for everyone, including Americans.

America may have pioneered the internet, but it’s no longer the center of the virtual universe. Countries such as China and India have many more internet users, and they want a say in how the internet functions. If the net is truly the world’s communication tool, then no one owns it, and everyone should have a role in its governance.

read more:

http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/opinion/commentary/sd-utbg-internet-...

 

 

The new threat to the internet is 'DIRECT COMMUNICATIONS". For example, a high-speed hub of communications between China and Russia does not have to go via the Internet. They can create their own lines of exchange in sub-nets and parallel-nets. They can have their own cabling and satellite-com. Forget the "multi-stack" governing body that is still designed to "control" communications. Here a series of new independent net-protocols can become COMPETITION TO The Internet, at international exchange and peers communications. And this is already in existence but not used by ordinary people. Banks, governments, industries have separate network cablings...

kapersky knows too much?...

US General Services Administration (GSA) has reportedly deleted Russia’s cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab from two lists of government contractors, citing a need to “ensure integrity and security.” Kaspersky says his company is the victim of a political game.

The two lists in question reportedly are that of outside vendors providing US governmental agencies with information technology services and digital photographic equipment, Reuters cited the GSA’s spokesperson as saying. 

The company was banished “after review and careful consideration,” the spokesperson noted. While she did not throw any accusations at the company, she stressed that the GSA is focused on preserving “the integrity and security of US government system networks.”

The move comes less than a day after Bloomberg magazine published an article, accusing the Moscow-based world leader in cybersecurity of close ties to Russia’s security service, the FSB. The report, titled “Kaspersky Lab has been working with Russian Intelligence” alleged that the magazine had got hold of internal communication that explicitly show that Kaspersky Lab“has maintained a much closer working relationship” with FSB“than it has publicly admitted.”

Among the allegations put forward in the investigative piece by Jordan Robertson and Michael Riley is the claim that the firm allegedly participated in developing security tools “at the spy’s agency behest” and was involved in projects with the FSB that the firm’s CEO, Eugene Kaspersky, deems to be “embarrassing” to shed light onto.

READ MORE: CIA can hack & track Windows devices via their wifi connections

Kaspersky, who previously denied all the claims of collusion with the Kremlin, denounced the report as an example of “banya journalism” and demanded the authors provide the internal emails on which the magazine claims to have based the story.

“Numerous allegations, misinterpretations & fakes. This story is BS brewed on political agenda,” Kaspersky stated on Twitter, adding that the claim that his firm had confirmed the authenticity of the emails was incorrect.

read more:

https://www.rt.com/usa/396065-kaspersky-gsa-vendor-list-removed/

planet qubits galore...

 

A team of Russian and American scientists at Harvard University has created and tested the world's first 51 qubit quantum computer. Mikhail Lukin, the co-founder of the Russian Quantum Center, says the new system's capabilities make it easily the most complex computing machine of its kind.

Speaking at the IV International Conference on Quantum Technologies in Moscow, held under the auspices of the Russian Quantum Center, Lukin said that the new machine has allowed his group to become leader of the pack in the ongoing race to create a full-fledged, fully functional quantum computer capable of replacing traditional silicon chip-based systems.

Unlike conventional computer chips, which render data in one of two states (1 or 0) quantum computers allow for data to exist in both states simultaneously, giving them the ability to hold exponentially more information. Quantum computers operate on quantum bits or 'qubits' – the unit of quantum information analogous to the classical bit. The computing power of a quantum computer grows exponentially as the number of qubits that can be manipulated is increased. Therefore, a quantum computer with 50 manipulatable qubits is theoretically more powerful than the Sunway TaihuLight, the fastest supercomputer in existence today.

Today, there are two main approaches to the creation of quantum computing systems – classical and adiabatic. Proponents of the former seek to create a 'universal quantum computer', its qubits subject to the rules governing the operation of conventional digital devices.


Proponents of adiabatic quantum computing take a different approach, their principle of operation being closer to the analogue computers of the beginning of the 20th century than to the digital devices of the present.

Over the past year, several teams of researchers from the US, Australia and Europe have announced that they were close to creating an adiabatic machine. The believed leaders were Google's John Martinis, whose team is working on a hybrid version of a universal quantum computer combining the elements of both the analog and digital approach to calculations.

However, Lukin and his team have gone further than Martinis' group, which is creating a 22 qubit machine using superconducting circuits.

Lukin's team has instead used an exotic 'cold atom' technology. Discovered by Russian and American scientists, the approach consists of keeping a set of atoms inside special laser 'cells', and cooling them at extremely low temperatures. These atoms can then be used as qubits, their stability of operation preserved under a wide set of circumstances. This approach has allowed physicists to create a 51 qubit computer — the most powerful quantum computer in the world.

read more:

https://sputniknews.com/science/201707141055558774-russian-us-lukin-quantum-computer/

 

Read from top...

Read also:

https://www.rt.com/business/396337-ether-stretch-cryptocurrency-market/

 

 

planet kaspersky lab...

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russian software developer Kaspersky Lab announced the worldwide launch of a free antivirus Kaspersky Free, company's head Eugene Kaspersky said Tuesday.

 

"I’ve some fantastic, earth-shattering-saving news: we’re announcing the global launch of Kaspersky Free, which, as you may have guessed by the title, is completely free-of-charge! Oh my giveaway!" Kaspersky said.

The free antivirus is competing with its commercial versions that have more features, the company said, adding that the work on the antivirus took a year-and-a-half.

"Last year the product successfully piloted in the Russia-Ukraine-Belarus region, in China, and also in the Nordic countries," the company said.

The company's free antivirus will initially be available to the US, Canada, and many of the Asia Pacific countries; in September — to India, Hong Kong, Middle East, Africa, Turkey and Latin America; in October: to Europe, Japan and South Korea; in November — to Vietnam and Thailand. The launch of the software coincides with company's 20th anniversary.

Read more:

https://sputniknews.com/science/201707261055881019-kaspersky-launches-fr...

crypto-crime in the world...

 

Aleksandr Vinnik, 38, was arrested on Thursday in the Greek resort area of Halkidiki and is facing extradition to the US, where he is wanted on charges of money laundering and running “one of the most important websites of electronic crime in the world,” authorities said upon his arrest.

Vinnik is said to have funneled at least $4 billion in bitcoins through various trading platforms such as Mt. Gox and BTC-e, which he is believed to be linked to, for the purpose of money laundering.

Nilsson, a co-founder of bitcoin security firm WizSec, was not part of the official probe launched by US authorities into the multi-million bitcoin theft, but has been actively assisting investigators, having submitted troves of data as part of his voluntary contribution.

Speaking to RT, Nilsson offered some insight on how the bitcoin laundering suspect was traced.
While Vinnik’s first suspected illicit operations with cryptocurrency may date back to 2011, years passed before it was possible to gather compelling evidence to press charges. This is despite the suspect making more than a few blunders along the way that eventually led to his capture.

READ MORE: ‘Sophisticated’ Ethereum hack steals $8mn worth of cryptocurrency

According to Nilsson, one of Vinnik’s fatal mistakes was the way he disposed of stolen bitcoins.

“The weakness was that after he received his bitcoins and laundered them, he had to move them out to exchanges for selling them, not only to BTC-e but to other exchanges, like Mt. Gox itself, and that left much more in terms of records that could leave a trail back to him,” Nilsson told RT.

read more:

https://www.rt.com/news/397784-bitcoin-money-laundering-interview/

 

nothing's secure...

 

In fault-tolerant computer systems, and in particular distributed computing systems, Byzantine fault tolerance (BFT) is the characteristic of a system that tolerates the class of failures known as the Byzantine Generals' Problem,[1] which is a generalized version of the Two Generals' Problem – for which there is an unsolvability proof. The phrases interactive consistency or source congruency have been used to refer to Byzantine fault tolerance, particularly among the members of some early implementation teams.[2] It is also referred to as error avalancheByzantine agreement problemByzantine generals problem and Byzantine failure.

Byzantine failures are considered the most general and most difficult class of failures among the failure modes. The so-called fail-stop failure mode occupies the simplest end of the spectrum. Whereas fail-stop failure model simply means that the only way to fail is a node crash, detected by other nodes, Byzantine failures imply no restrictions, which means that the failed node can generate arbitrary data, pretending to be a correct one, which makes fault tolerance difficult.

read more:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Byzantine_fault_tolerance

 

What does this all mean for the layperson? Technology as good as it looks will always be imperfect. There are times when the data is somewhat corrupted and will corrupt some other data. At most times this is innocuous or accidental due to faults at various steps of the transmission. Some data can "self-correct" by being primed to recover the value of the original meaning of the data. But this is somewhat very complicated. We sit there at our computer typing away thinking that all is goodo. It is reasonably safe to believe that if you use cabled keyboard and mouse, and that you are not connected to the internet, your computer might be safe from hacking. Using a bluetooth and wifi connection has more or less zero (0) protection against hacking. Zero. Most wifi transmitters are "locked" with a password, but a "professional" hacker can get in in less than a nanosecond. The transmission can become infected with malwares of any kind at any time. 

The Byzantine problem mentioned at top can also be at the source of entry. In order to be operational, a computer and its programming has to allow faults, that are self-correctable, through — otherwise no computer would be operational. Perfection would freeze the data, as data is never fully correct. One bit gone wrong would stop an entire system of million billion items of data. This has been the bane of programmers especially those of PC. Macs are less problematic at this level for several reason, the best of which could reside in that most of the incoming data from the net has to be translated by Javascript which adds an extra filter of "surveillance" on the value of the data. As well Apple provides regular free updates that solve issues. It's not foolproof nonetheless. Strangely, I believe that older computers become more resistant to malware than newer ones because of the "inability" of these computers to read newfangled programs, while still being able to translate the general gist. 

In the end, most of the security for institution and firms connected to the net is provided by changing the encryption keys to their operations every 30 seconds. Hackers keep a lot of former hackers employed in cyber security...

 

data mining...

 

What if a cold drink cost more on a hot day?

Customers in the UK will soon find out. Recent reports suggest that three of the country’s largest supermarket chains are rolling out surge-pricing in select stores. This means that prices will rise and fall over the course of the day in response to demand. Buying lunch at lunchtime will be like ordering an Uber at rush hour.

This may sound pretty drastic, but far more radical changes are on the horizon. About a week before that report, Amazon announced its $13.7bn purchase of Whole Foods. A company that has spent its whole life killing physical retailers now owns more than 460 stores in three countries.

The acquisition – Amazon’s largest ever – struck some observers as strange. ButAmazon tends to run about a decade ahead of its rivals. It owes its success to big, counterintuitive moves. This is a company that saw the power of online retail in 1994, and of cloud computing in 2006. Its purchase of Whole Foods represents a similarly far-sighted incursion into a lucrative new frontier.

read more:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/aug/23/silicon-valley-big-data-ex...

 

Knowing consuming patterns as well as encouraging taste towards particular products with advertising demands more and more data to optimise sales. A one cent extra on manufacturing costs can often lead to an extra dollar paid by consumers at retail outlet. At this level there are several psychological factors at play depending on customer base. Some consumers will think that $2.99 is "cheap" as if the retail store is prepared to make less profit, while some will think that $3.62 is also good value. There the underlying thinking is that the retail store has done its best to keep a low price. Some consumers will accept the reality of $3,00, but they need to be educated to this round figure which does say nothing of the pricing structure.  Data mining does help in streamlining, adjusting the pricing structures — according to location, season, consumer patterns  and quality of products. A one cent difference in production cost can lead to a 30 per cent variation in profits, and might change a retail pricing from $2.99 to $3.99 with various psychological trick, including advertising spruiking and style of pricing ticketing...

 

of course...

 

The currency isn’t going to work. You can’t have a business where people can invent a currency out of thin air and think that people who are buying it are really smart,”Dimon said at a bank investor conference in New York.

The head of America’s largest bank threatened to dismiss traders if they trade the cryptocurrency.

“I would fire them in a second, for two reasons: It is against our rules, and they are stupid, and both are dangerous,”Dimon said, as quoted by Reuters.

Dimon also compared the recent bitcoin rush with the 17th сentury tulip mania, which boosted contract prices for bulbs of newly introduced tulips to extremely high levels.

The prices drastically collapsed at the beginning of 1637, making the tulip mania one of the first recorded speculative bubbles.

According to Dimon, bitcoin could be useful “if you were in Venezuela or Ecuador or North Korea.. or if you were a drug dealer or a murderer.”

READ MORE: Bitcoin price surpasses $5,000 for first time

Meanwhile, the controversial cryptocurrency has tumbled to a three-week low and is currently trading at around $3,970. Bitcoin lost a massive $1,000 in value since the beginning of September when its price was close to breaking a new record of $5,000.

read more:

https://www.rt.com/business/403173-bitcoin-fraud-collapse-jp-dimon/

 

"In god we trust, all other pay cash..." ... with shells or clams or...

God, the dollar and bitcoins are all invented values to underwrite the trust we have between each others. It's only a question of exchange numbers, even if "governments" can certify the value of their "fiat" currency, especially the dollar. The US debt to the rest of the world is officially $20 trillion. In reality it is far more than this. The problem here with Dimon is that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies compete on his little patch against his own "traditional" system of trading values.

Whether Bitcoins survive or not, is open for conjecture, but they offer an alternative that even some banks and some countries are thinking of using to bypass the US dollar. Should this happen it would not take long for the US dollar value plummet, leading to a sudden doubling of the US debt. People like the CEO of JPMorgan Chase Jamie Dimon do not want this to happen because of their own supply and demand market investments in the "dollar".   

 

Read from top...

in defence of bits...

 

The CEO of JPMorgan Chase Jamie Dimon has called bitcoin a fraud that will blow up. Max Keiser of RT’s Keiser Report has explained why the real bubble may be in banking, and not in the cryptocurrency

JP Morgan, along with the entire finance sector, has been subsidized by the Federal Reserve's corrupt practice of 'financial repression' that moves hundreds of billions from savers and pensioners, and workers, into JP Morgan and Jamie Dimon's pocket. Jamie's compensation is tied directly to manipulating JP Morgan's stock and option prices, thanks to the Fed's conflicted, corrupt, cozy malfeasance,” he told RT.

Financial repression is a term describing measures used by governments to channel funds to themselves as a form of debt reduction. These actions include the deliberate attempt to hold down interest rates to below inflation. In this system, benefits are transferred from lenders to borrowers. JPMorgan Chase stock has surged about 260 percent since June 2012.

According to Keiser, it is wrong to say bitcoin is a bubble or a fraud.

“The US dollar, bond markets, and many property markets are in bubbles. Bitcoin and gold are the only financial assets not in bubbles. To say bitcoin is fraudulent would be like saying gold is fraudulent. Some might say this, but no rational person would agree,” he said.

“As the bubbles in fiat money, bonds and stocks pop, capital will flow into bitcoin, gold, and silver. At some point, when his customers start leaving JPMorgan and move to more bitcoin-focused options, Jamie will be forced to capitulate, or get replaced,” Keiser added.

read more:

https://www.rt.com/business/403290-bitcoin-bubble-jpmorgan-dimon-keiser/

 

The more players in bitcoins the more stable the cryptocurrency... As well, Gus quoting Gus at top:

The company’s representative in Russia Martynov added that “in five years Russia could become a global center for blockchain expertise. The country plans to attract and teach programmers blockchain technology and then offer the world expertise.”

 

Having the Ruskies (or any one else independently of the dollar) take over the financing of the planet via cryptocurrencies could piss off the yanks including CEO of JPMorgan Chase Jamie Dimon... 

 

the crypto-sum of all fears for governments...

Cryptocurrencies have captured the attention of investors and world governments alike, especially given Bitcoin’s meteoric rise over the past 12 months. Cybersecurity expert John McAfee believes they may encompass the sum of all fears for governments the world over.

The blockchain technology that cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum are built on helps to solve the problems that plague traditional banking, by cutting out the middleman, thus reducing fees for consumers, while also decentralizing and securing transactions.

With no centralized exchange to control or influence, national authorities around the world will find it increasingly difficult to determine a given citizen's income and thus their income tax owed, undermining a critical source of government revenue, according to technology pioneer and head of MGT Capital Investments John McAfee.

read more:

https://www.rt.com/business/406175-governments-fear-bitcoin-tax-revenue/

 

 

the CIA impersonation of kaspersky...

 

Kaspersky Lab IT company has come under increased pressure in the US amid accusations concerning its alleged work for Russian intelligence, a claim denied as false.

WikiLeaks has revealed that CIA had written a code to "impersonate" Russia-based Kaspersky Lab, which had been used at least three times.

According to the whisteblowing organization's press release dedicated to Vault-8 documents, "WikiLeaks publishes the source code and development logs to Hive, a major component of the CIA infrastructure to control its malware."

New WikiLeaks publication reveals CIA wrote code to impersonate Kaspersky Labs anti-virus company https://t.co/EvE8GdyAmM pic.twitter.com/geigDgIDsk

— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) 9 ноября 2017 г.

 

WikiLeaks has explained that "Hive" source code ensured the covert delivery of gathered intelligence to the CIA, which allows the US intelligence to impersonate other entities in order to mask its presence.

"The three examples included in the source code build a fake certificate for the anti-virus company Kaspersky Laboratory, Moscow pretending to be signed by Thawte Premium Server CA, Cape Town. In this way, if the target organization looks at the network traffic coming out of its network, it is likely to misattribute the CIA exfiltration of data to uninvolved entities whose identities have been impersonated," WikiLeaks said, adding that the use of Hive makes virus attribution to the CIA difficult,

According to the "Hive" release by WikiLeaks as part of Vault-7, the virus control system "provides a covert communications platform for a whole range of CIA malware to send exfiltrated information to CIA servers and to receive new instructions from operators at the CIA."

READ MORE: New Wikileaks 'Vault-7' Batch Reveals Top Secret CIA Virus Control System HIVE

On March 7, WikiLeaks released the first part of what it called an unprecedentedly large archive of CIA-related classified documents, comprising various viruses, malware, software vulnerability hacks and relevant documentation, which was initially uncovered by US government hackers. As WikiLeaks has gained access to some of the data from the trove, the White House has condemned the leaks, stressing that those responsible for leaking classified information should be held accountable in accordance with the law.

 

Pressure on Kaspersky in US

WikiLeaks' release came amid increased pressure on the Russian IT company in the US, with US Acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke ordering all the country's federal departments and agencies to stop using Kaspersky Lab products within the next 90 days, saying the company's products allegedly represented a threat to security.

 

Read more:

https://sputniknews.com/science/201711091058962509-wikileaks-cia-code-ka...

Gus believes that Kaspersky has confirmed that the CIA impersonated its firm in order to discredit Kaspersky...

 

See also: https://wikileaks.org/ciav7p1/cms/index.html

 

encryption is dead...

 

A team of Chinese researchers has successfully conducted a data transmission via a quantum channel over a distance of almost 3 kilometers, a new record.

Chinese scientists announced that they have made a major breakthrough in quantum communications, claiming to successfully transmit data via a quantum channel over a distance of 2.7 kilometers, according to a report by Defense One.

 

If the claim is verified, it will mark a significant milestone in quantum communication methods — sending messages that cannot be intercepted or spied on.

Quantum-encrypted data cannot be eavesdropped because a third party tampering with the communication channel causes a quantum message to change, and both the recipient and the sender will know that someone is attempting an intercept. Due to the nature of quantum physics, any observation using our large-scale instruments influences — and so alters — the object of observation, an effect known as the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle.

 

 

Much like the 20th century space race, the US and China are rapidly developing quantum messaging technology, and China appears to be in the lead, for now. In June, Chinese scientists demonstrated their first secure quantum communication by means of a small-scale tabletop experiment. This time, they have pushed the boundaries by successfully sending and receiving sending quantum-based messages over much longer long distances.

The Chinese research team claims that their system can be scaled to send messages "tens of kilometers." The US does not have those capabilities presently, according to Defense One.

If quantum communication becomes the new norm it will alleviate the need for any form of encryption. While today's best encryption is nearly unbreakable, it is not 100-percent secure. Thus, developing quantum systems becomes a matter of national security.

read more:
https://sputniknews.com/science/201711111059002731-quantum-communication-china/


In the 1950s. most spy networks used analogue transmission successfully.. The trick was that the transmission was a one-off, on a one-off agreed frequency (never the same) in the "industrial (short) bands" at an agreed time (variable according to the code book) and the recording was compressed at more than 100 times the speed of the original. 3 seconds of transmissions transferred 300 seconds (five minutes) of recording which was ample daily communications. It was impossible for anyone else to pick up the short burst of noise of the transmission amongst the other noises of the "industrial short waves".
What encryption did was to hide the content of the communication but not the communication itself, opening the communication to be captured and decrypted. A bit dumb really.